Don't try to twist the logic of the Scripture. It is what it is. Paul meant his first century audience. Accept it.I accept the fact that the first century Christians were taught that the coming of the Lord Jesus at the rapture was imminent. However, In The Scofield Reference Bible we read that "the Biblical term 'at hand' or 'near' is never a positive affirmation that the person or thing said to be at hand will immediately appear, but only that person or thing has the quality of imminency."
Christians were taught to be waiting for a Savior from heaven, the Lord Jesus who will change our lowly body so that it will be fashioned like His glorious body:
"But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body" (Phil.3:21).
Since Christians are eagerly waiting the Savior to appear then we know that He will, in His Person, appear. What evidence can you give that this did in fact happen in 70AD? And what evidence can you give that all the Christians living in 70AD were "caught up" to meet the Lord Jesus in the air?
Are you listening? You posted about the "Scofield Study Bible" again. Throw it out. You need to start over without the preconceived last day madness and hell for other people belief!
Our "Transformed" Body
Philippians 3:20-21 Philippians 3:21 (NKJV)
who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
The futurist looks at this verse and says, "When the Lord returns some day in the future, he will transform our dead decaying bodies into spiritual bodies like his." The problem with this is that the Lord has already returned, and what ever this is talking about has already happened! Whatever this verse is talking about happened in AD 70.
"Who will transform our lowly body...." If this has already happened, how has our body been transformed? To understand this, we must first understand the word "transformed." It is the Greek word metaschematizo. This word is used five times in the New Testament. The connotation in all five refers to the act of assuming an outward expression that does not come from within. Let's look at these verses and see if we can get a better understanding of this word.
1 Corinthians 4:6 (NKJV)
Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred (metaschematizo) to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other.
Paul is here attempting to appeal to the baby Corinthians on their level, so was "fashioning" (assuming an outward expression that does not come from within) himself and Apollos on their level. He had just rebuked them for schisms in chapter 3; and Paul, while knowing that he and Apollos were more mature than the Corinthians, didn't want to appear superior, for he wanted their focus to be on the Lord, not on them! The "forming" was assuming an outward expression that did not come from within. It was an appearance to keep from being seen as super-apostles in the eyes of the Corinthians.
Paul also uses this word metaschematizo in:
2 Corinthians 11:13-15 (NKJV) For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming (metaschematizo) themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms (metaschematizo) himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform (metaschematizo)themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.
The false apostles were not apostles of Christ, Satan was not an angel of light, and his ministers were not ministers of righteousness. They were all assuming an outward expression that did not come from within. In this same way, our lowly body was transformed.
Beginning with the completion of atonement at 70 AD, Christians acquired immortality.
1 Corinthians 15:51-53 (NKJV) Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed; 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
The change was the putting on of immortality. The physical body is taking on a condition that is alien to its nature. It isn't changing its nature, just taking on a temporary condition by virtue of the spirit which is immortal. The lowly, physical body does not become "immortal", it merely achieves a special status by virtue of housing a Christian spirit that IS immortal. That is the meaning of metaschematizo, the putting on of a temporary quality that does not affect the true nature. That status is not carried over after death, when the spirit leaves.
Philippians 3:21 is not referring to some future raising up and changing of the physical body, but refers to the "putting on" of immortality as a direct result of the indwelling of the immortal spirit while the Christian is physically alive!
Paul goes on to say, "That it may be conformed to His glorious body." The word "conformed" is the Greek word summorphos, which comes from morphe, meaning: "the essential character of something, the essential form which never alters." The word Paul uses here is not morphe but summorphos, which means: "jointly formed." The prefix "sun" (soon) denotes: "union; with or together." This "sun" prefix tells us that this is a positional association.
Notice that the "metaschematizo" of the lowly body results in the "summorphos" of the body. The pronoun "auto" (it) refers back to the lowly body and is described as being "summorphon" because it had been metaschematizo.
Verse 21 reads like this: "Who (Christ) will transform (metaschematizo) our lowly body that it (our lowly body) may be conformed (summorphon) to his glorious body."
Our body did not become a glorious body, but is glorious only in its association with His glorious body. Christ's body is literally glorified and our is co-glorified. We are glorified only in a positional sense.
Romans 6:4 (NKJV) Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
The word" buried" here is sunthapto. Were we physically, literally buried? No. Was Christ? Yes. We were buried only by association with Christ -- it was HIS burial, but our co-burial through his baptism.
This same association applies in Philippians 3:21 ; "Who (Christ) will transform (metaschematizo - the act of assuming an outward expression that does not come from within.) our lowly body that it (our lowly body) may be conformed (summorphon- co-formed, associated to the fashion of His, not our body) to his glorious body."
It was Christ's body that was "morphed" and made glorious. Our body obtains this glory in this life only through association, or being "with-morphed", if you will. That is why the physical body is now assuming an outward expression that does not come from within- it is housing the now immortal spirit, but it doesn't appear that way. It is not an immortal body. The body is no more "morphed" than it is "buried" in Romans 6:4. Futurists that see a physical glorified body in this verse, totally gloss over the Greek used in this verse.
The lowly body of the Christian (since 70 AD) has taken on (through the "change" of 1 Corinthians 15:51-52) an outward expression that does not come from within because of the immortality of the spirit within, and, as such, is in association with Christ's (and ONLY Christ's) transformed and glorified body. Only Christ was given this transformation because only His body was free of corruption and was promised not to see decay. Nowhere will you find a verse that talks about our physical body being "morphed" or changed into a glorious body.
This word summorphon is also used in:
Romans 8:29 (NKJV) For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed (summorphon)to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Because Christians are joined to Christ, they are summorphon - co-formed into His image. It is this association to Christ's nature, this summorphon with the image of Christ, that is responsible for the metaschematizo, or new condition, of the living saint from 70 AD onward!
We must understand that sun prefix on the word, summorphon, shows not an exact likeness to the nature of Christ, but an association with Christ's nature.
We also see this positional association in Romans 6 (co-buried, co-crucified, co-resurrected with Christ); Ephesians 2 (co-quickened, co-raised, co-seated in heaven with Christ); and Colossians 2 (co-buried, co-raised, co-quickened). These all utilize the sun or co- prefix and all demand a positional stance of the believer with the reality of Christ. Christ was buried, raised, quickened, and is seated in heaven. The believer is co-buried, co-raised, co-quickened, and co-seated in heaven. In Christ is the reality, in the believers is the association with that reality.
So, in this verse, it is an association with CHRIST'S nature that is essential. Only by and through that can there be a metaschematizo of the believer, a putting on of a new condition, a "refashioning".
So, Paul is saying that at the return of Christ, believers will be "transformed," their spirit will become immortal while dwelling in a physical body. This change took place because of the believer's association with Christ's glorified body. This is the change that 1 Corinthians 15:51 speaks of:
1 Corinthians 15:51 (NKJV) Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed;
Now, notice how Paul says that this "transformation" is to take place:
Philippians 3:21 (NKJV) who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
He says that it is, "according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself." This change in the believers was to occur when Christ subdued all things. When did that happen?
1 Corinthians 15:24-26 (NKJV) Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.
Christ's glorious power was made manifest in the second coming when he destroyed spiritual death and brought immortality.
Believers, we have immortality now, but we dwell in a mortal body. When we die physically, our immortal spirit will put on an immortal body and we will forever dwell with the Lord. ~ Berean Bible Church